Yep, ancient Greek βλέφαρον (blepharon) meaning eyelid. That's all it means. What we're doing here, only, is describing which bit of the eye is affected (-itis). Although these descriptions do not identify the cause of the problem (viral, fungal, bacterial, inflammatory disease, allergy, immune disorder, more), they describe where the problem is seen on examination. But no further. The eye, a complex delicate system with lots of things happening that can't be seen, is actually Attached to the Body, ophth, so we might want to check the old notes from med school and hang out with derms, endos, immunologists, sometimes, to get diagnosis.
It is interesting how the descriptions evolve as research docs delve into diseases and describe them with new terms. The terms your doc uses are a very good indicator of how well-read on research and current on practice s/he is.
There's a paradox for a 'difficult' condition that a very good and careful thoughtful doc at the top of their game, who wants to pinpoint diagnosis, might hesitate what to call it and redefine it for a bit until they've got there. I like that, I'd rather they didn't guess. I think many of us feel we are in heaven if we have found a doc who will work with us honestly on these difficult conditions.
One of my favourite ever ophth does a nice gentle running commentary describing exactly what he's observing in detail, even shares a few thoughts on differential diagnosis for the red inner eyelids, experience managing similar cases, with the opportunity to ask questions 'what does the meibom look like on the lower left' 'what do you think's happening since last time' 'what do you think is causing this' etc. This is what we want.
Last edited by littlemermaid; 06-Feb-2012 at 06:42.
Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere